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Gemini to Launch Reward-Based Crypto Debit Card Service via Its Acquisition of Blockrize

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With more companies entering the card services niche, Gemini will be developing new value-added services that will distinguish its cards from the pack.

Unites States-based cryptocurrency exchange Gemini has unveiled it will be rolling out a cryptocurrency debit card for which users can earn Bitcoin (BTC) based on their purchases. According to a report from The Block, the crypto debit card service which appears to be the growing attraction amongst cryptocurrency firms today will be spawned through Blockrize, a blockchain-based startup acquired by Gemini back in October 2020.

Many details are yet to be revealed about the proposed debit cards but the cards will churn out rewards as high as 3% of total purchases customers make which will be paid out in Bitcoin (BTC), and others yet to be named altcoins. As Gemini exchange’s Chief Operating Officer, Noah Perlman told The Block in an interview, the small team of four from Blockrize joined Gemini when the startup was acquired, and the two teams are working assiduously to rollout the product later this year.

The crypto debit card from Gemini will be “a great way for customers to invest in crypto, get exposure to the asset class, and then be able to sort of get the gains almost like a passive investment,” Perlman said, “And then to the extent that there’s an increase in the value of those assets, that will accrue to them.”

The Gemini executive also reiterated that the fact that digital assets increase in value over time amid inflationary tendencies spiked by the devaluing nature of traditional assets will naturally endear the product to new users.

“Financial rewards are changing,” said Perlman. “Consumers are likely less eager to earn hotel points or airline miles, not just because of COVID, but obviously because they’re consistently devalued and even cash back in some cases. One of the compelling aspects of crypto is the fact that it’s an inflationary hedge.”

Gemini Crypto Card vs Other Firms’ Offerings

Gemini exchange will not be the pioneering crypto firm to unveil plans for crypto debit card products. BlockFi made similar announcements in December 2020 but its own offering will lag behind Gemini’s as the reward rate is set at 1.5% per transaction completed. Neither Gemini nor BlockFi’s cards have hit the market yet so determining the level of acceptance at this time may be overstretched.

Coinbase also has a card product to reward 1% in BTC, and 4% in Stellar Lumens but users will have to make purchases using their crypto holdings to earn the rewards.

With more companies entering the card services niche, Gemini will be developing new value-added services that will distinguish its cards from the pack according to Perlman. The company has opened a Waitlist for the card and those who have gotten on the Waitlist with Blockrize are automatically enlisted according to TechCrunch. Users will need to own a Gemini exchange account as the earnings will be deposited right into it.

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Benjamin Godfrey is a blockchain enthusiast and journalists who relish writing about the real life applications of blockchain technology and innovations to drive general acceptance and worldwide integration of the emerging technology. His desires to educate people about cryptocurrencies inspires his contributions to renowned blockchain based media and sites. Benjamin Godfrey is a lover of sports and agriculture.





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Valkyrie Digital Assets Files for Bitcoin ETF

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Valkyrie Digital Assets filed an application on Friday for a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF), becoming the second company to do so in a month.

According to Dallas-registered Valkyrie Digital Assets, the Valkyrie Bitcoin Trust would be listed on the New York Stock Exchange and Coinbase Custody Trust Company, LLC would serve as the custodian for the proposed ETF.

Leah Wald, CEO of Valkyrie Digital Assets, told CoinDesk, “Our executive team has previously launched multiple ETFs, publicly traded funds, and ETPs, including bitcoin funds.”

Wald explains the team behind the ETF includes, “Steven McClurg and John Key who have collectively worked on over 100 esoteric and novel deals that have passed regulatory scrutiny.”

While an ETF is seen as advantageous because it trades on the stock market in much the same way as shares in popular companies such as Apple and Microsoft, over the years the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has rejected bitcoin ETF proposals due to concerns about market volatility and industry manipulation. 

Still, there’ve been signs the SEC is warming to the idea. In October 2020, then-Chairman Jay Clayton, who many saw as lukewarm toward crypto, said the agency was still open to considering ETF proposals.

Now, with a new administration causing a changing of the guard at the SEC, it is widely hoped by crypto advocates that such an ETF will be approved in 2021. Clayton stepped down officially last month and was replaced by Gary Gensler, who is widely seen as being more pro-crypto than is his predecessor.

Also adding to optimism is this month’s departure of Dalia Blass, the director of the SEC’s division of investment management. Blass was the author of a 2018 letter within the SEC expressing concerns that the bitcoin market was not large enough or liquid enough to be ready for an exchange-traded product.



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Another Pro-Crypto Appointment in the Biden Administration?

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Reports are that Chris Brummer – author of a volume on crypto assets and frequent speaker on digital currencies – will chair the CFTC.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

On this edition of the Weekly Recap, NLW argues that while bitcoin’s price was the short-term story of the week, the medium-term story was all about the transition of power in the U.S. to the new Biden Administration. In it, he discusses what the appointments (reported or confirmed) of Janet Yellen, Gary Gensler, Michael Barr and Chris Brummer suggest about the future of crypto policy.

Image credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images News



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MicroStrategy Buys the Dip, Adds $10M to Bitcoin Treasury

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CEO Michael Saylor bought the coins for an average price of $31,808.



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